Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Evening

Have popped up to deshaies to do final preparations, couldn't seem to get my head round it in in St Lucia! but 2 days of meeting no one I know seems to have done the trick, of course also I went up the river bed early this morning (about 3 miles into the forest) to have a wonderful swim in freezing cold fresh water, wonderfull.
The weather system coming about Wednesday night Thursday morning is a quickie storm, about 40 to 45 knots of wind! I am trying to time it to leave before it arrives and ride the winds above it, this will give me a really good push into the wind that is traveling east towards the uk. If I get it right will be very good, if I get it wrong the storm will hit me for about 6 to 8 hours. Survivable with sails down all being well. I think this is my last chance to make it across, if it dosent work out, well its back down again towards St Lucia or Granada!
Will keep sending blog updates, I just hope old computer hangs in there as it is still my only means to communicate.

Blog Spam

If seen please ignore, Carolyn I have upped the number again. pass worked for me!
I have been in touch with AOL my e-mail provider and they say there is nothing they can do to support attempts to read header info to try and trace the source, this has now prob been passed to many other hackers by now.
Have no time to put right by changing my ID right now.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Journey North

Hi again,
I had a lot of friends come to wish me bon voyage at the shipyard fuel key. Jo from squiggles is writing an article in the IGY news letter, so she interviewed me before I left. Both Adam and Edwin unfortunatly couldn't be there but thier press officer passed on her and thier regards. At about 2.25pm I hoisted sail and with a lot of friendly comments being shouted, and Les taking official photo's, I sailed out of the marina. I busied myself once outside getting the jib up and then went to make a coffe, boat was sailing well, as I passed the chart table I found Duncan's wi fi booster he had lent to me earlier, so now its 3pm and I am 4 miles away just about to lose the phone connection, I sent a text saying I would come back and turned the boat round back to the anchorage, just in time for a very heavy rain cloud to dump it's contents, so all that took till 4pm, then I turned round heading for Martinique waving to Duncan.
I have spent a very rough night and day at sea as winds were 20-25knts gusting 30 in the squalls. By Thursday evening I needed a rest and was coming up to Melandore, middle of Guadalupe at about 5pm, I decided to anchor for the night and sort the mess below.
The journey north to St Martean or Antigua is a test to make sure all is well with the boat/equipment/me and not forgetting the Atlantic Ocean.
Anchoring here has given me a bit of time to get things in the right place, and also esablish a proper communications routine. Anchor was dropped at 6pm ish
at Position: 16,10.36N , 61,46.85W
More to come

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On The Move

Hi Everyone,
Well customs has been cleared and boat has been made ready. Have said goodbye to as many people as possible and now I will be leaving for northern Caribbean, I am expecting quite a lot of rain to begin with, till Sunday anyway, there will be a low pressure system to the north east at least till Wednesday, so will have to keep my eye on the forecasts as I go. Will be on satellite e-mail from now on until my next landfall.
Will leave today about 1400hrs from Rodney Bay Fuel quay.
More as it happens

Monday, July 26, 2010


Hi everyone,
Well lots of thought has been going into what to do next, Hurricane season is here but not quite as bad as people have been predicting yet, I feel to go south now would be a mistake as winds should make it more difficult to get back this way again. I have a few fellow boat people north of me and feel to go that way will be better, there are many hurricane holes and places to hide from bad weather when it inevitably comes. I have stored GL for approx 3 months at sea! this is just in case the weather holds steady for a while longer and gives me that elusive window to make a dash for the other side of the pond. It would be nice to make it back before this years end so as to sort myself out. GL is now ready to go, and with an engine plus plenty of petrol, repaired jib sail etc. could manage what I went through last time like a breeze. I apologise for the lack of pics, but Internet has been hard to come by, and the time it takes to do has been short too.
My course should I go is via the BVI, a total of 3850NM from here to just south of Anglesey, 2300NM to 'Horta', my new computer won't speak to the satellite but can swop files with mem stick, so will be in touch better as well.
Will be leaving St Lucia this week anyway as Passport finely arrived back from Washington DC.
I will let you know

Thursday, July 22, 2010

trouble continued and sorted

Hi again everyone,
Sorry for the delay in posting but.......
Much has happened since my last post, the most important of these was Launching GL after renewing engine and fixing leaks.
The Engine is AOK now, it performs really good, I think its a bit more powerfull as well as I get more speed at any rev range.
Big problem when launched was the amount of water GL was taking in! as much if not more than I was hauled out! I stayed in the water for three days in case the boat had dried out a bit, but water was still pouring in. I arranged another haul out to find out why, after the repair it was still leaking.
Imeadiatly the boat was blocked off I inspected the repaired seam on the garboard plank and found the sika had not stuck to anything at all, I pulled one end and the complete seam fell out full length of the boat! can only assume the sika was bad in the tubes used, as all other repairs are still aok.
Have since again recaulked and resealed the garboard plank with new 3M 4200 and relaunched the boat again!
This time success! not only success but the boat now takes in less water than when I first launched her in 1994! so something was always leaking in that seam. Bilge pump now runs for only 20 seconds every 5 hours or so, amazing.
all this has cost a fortune so future plans are in progress of being modified, so will have to advise everyone later on what plan I have come up with.
More later

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Spam E-Mails

Hi all,
It was reported to me that some of you were getting Spam e-mails from my address, no subject just a link to a viagre site, I have taken steps to stop this, but if you receive another one after receiving this message please please let me know.
This E-Mail was sent by Roy Boughton

Sunday, July 4, 2010

At St Lucia IGY Shipyard

Hi Everyone,
Saturday night as you can imagine was spent at the 'Boardwalk' a place to have a beer or two or three or.... I don't remember getting back to the boat, but did wake up there.
Sunday morning I woke bright and early, and thought I'll send a multiple text msg to everyone saying I was OK, then the final fickle finger of fate dealt me the the final blow, my mobile phone refused to recognise my password...three times....then asked me for my PUK code!!!! The last time that happened I threw my phone into a swimming pool in France, I'm not in France this time so controlled myself and I still am waiting for the code.
I started right away fixing the boat, found were it was leaking, and there were 3 other places too, underneath the water tank and fuel tank, basically all the way down the starboard garboard plank!
By the time the engine arrived and Duncan to help me, I had nearly finished all those items, and this Thursday with engine AOK, I had booked my launching for tomorrow Monday 5 July! so as its 4 July I am again in the Boardwalk for a bit of celebration. GL has been scrubbed inside and out today, also teak oiled and looks as if nothing has happened, painted and antifouled,(antifouling by Danielle and Duncan) Danielle had a formal dinner date with her girl friends that night and was covered in black paint, I had no thinners left!!!
As you can see from this Post I have finally at last transferred all my programs over to the new computer, I did have a few probs getting things to work with windows 7, but now all is well, just have to test satellite conn tomorrow.
Could be some pics comming soon as have loads to post.
more later.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Story Part 3

Hello again everyone,
Well its taken me awhile to get back on line, so I better tell part three of the story……
Seeing this fitting now not supporting Fred at all I had visions of Fred falling off, as it was now the outer jib tension being transferred down the back stay and making it lift up so alarmingly I took the jib off, then I jury rigged another backstay using the topping lift, the backstay itself I rigged a line and re-tensioned it so no pressure was on the frame holding Fred. Now of course I couldn’t work out what was holding Fred up? There were only 2 bolts at deck level and nothing else to support the 50kg load, Fred was still steering the boat with no apparent problem, leaning over to one side a little bit, but nothing seemed to be affecting it, whew.
I was now not going very fast because of the wind and just as it was going dark I went to start the gen-set, batteries were down to 11.3volts, a good pull on the cord and it promptly snapped, the cord disappearing into the innards of the machine! Bloody hell what next, of course I couldn’t see to fix it now it was dark, so I had to do without it that Friday night.
Saturday dawned, the clouds were still threatening rain, but I had to fix the gen-set, pull cord starters are a nuisance to fix, having done it many times and having 20 miles of spring steel with minds of their own doing their own thing which is never to go back in were they belong! That done and geny running it poured down with rain just 2 lts of petrol left now but I could see St Lucia in the distance, I was crawling along doing about 2.6 knts very frustrating, when close enough for the phone I let Danielle know I was getting close, she let me know IGY Marina Shipyard were waiting for me, and sure enough a VHF call came through asking my ETA, it took a bit longer than first estimate but as you’ve seen from Danielle’s photo’s I finally arrived, what you didn’t see was how many people were there, I had met them all before, Danielle, Adam Foster IGY Manager, Adam from Nomad, and Edgar from Loose Cannon, all in the safety boat, looking after the racing Optimists, Edgar handed over a Piton beer, which didn't tough the sides, then gave me another one, and then the boat with Edwin came to tow me into the Shipyard, by 1800hrs I was in the slings and Safe!
more later